Arusha – No Pens – No hamburgers

Tony has arrived in Arusha.  He says he has a “positive” impression – sorta like when he kisses his sister (sorry Diana!)  He says, “ . . . it is a tourist destination . . . safari tours abound.”  Tony’s idea of tourism is hiking in the outback without a map on a “discovery” trip and safaris he will enjoy as he goes from farm to farm.  Regardless, Tony is enjoying summer in east central Afrika beneath Mt Meru that he thinks was a volcano – maybe a miniature Mt Kilimanjaro which he describes this way:  “Flying in I saw a great plain, that is, an immense plateau dotted with trees, dry looking.  Rising from this was Mount Kilimanjaro with a mass of snow on the top and all down the sides, followed by a ring of white clouds and ending on the plain. Imposing. Beautiful.”

Tony is replacing Toshi who hails from Japan.  “When Toshi looks at people in the streets he compares them to Japanese so they look bigger and heavier but when I look I see broad shouldered, slim wasted, and flat bellied.”  Toshi is Tony’s guide and mentor for the next couple of weeks as Tony becomes familiar with Arusha, the World Food Programme (WFP) and writing without a pen!  Yes, there were no pens in the WFP offices.  Tony is beginning to realize that the world is a technological place – including Tanzania!  Tony is quite comfortable doing his own business accounting on the backs of old envelopes (god help the poor sod the federal government sends to audit Tony’s “books”!) but he says now “I realize that most business is conducted on the cell phone and via email with information literally whizzing hell bent non-stop.”  Welcome to the 21st Century in Afrika, Tony!

Back to Toshi and Arusha:  “There are . . . street vendors selling fresh fruit and vegetables. You can walk down leafy streets; you can walk down bare streets. There are clean areas and there are littered areas. People seem busy.  Toshi took me to his favourite Saturday morning haunts:  Breakfast spots and coffee spots and bookstores.”

Meanwhile Toshi and Tony are living in a pink motel/hotel owned and operated by a woman – “One sharp business woman. Nice too. But there’s a game to be played, the bargaining one.”  The bargaining game began when WFP staff took Tony to look for another place to hang his hat . . . . very quickly the owner was on the phone saying she will, after all, rent the unit for only 600,000 shillings per month ($300) since Tony is a volunteer and she is a nice woman!  So Tony stays 15 minutes from work and 15 minutes from downtown. Tony has a one room unit with a kitchen area and a bathroom.  “Home” is a little constricting but now Tony knows why Toshi goes “downtown” on the weekends and particularly since they “are not to be out at night . . . so it is important to get out during the day.”

Tony is looking forward to a quick visit from Scott and Nancy (who will be on safari) as they stop briefly in Arusha.  The neat thing that Tony discovered is a long line of “cafes and wee shops . . . directly across from the hotel [where Scott & Nancy are staying], where I braved lunch for 2,000 shillings or $1.20.  [Lunch was a] standard fare of rice, beans and spinach.  I felt proud to have negotiated this transaction. It is generally a place no tourist would go but I have been to a couple with Toshi and Abel the driver and felt capable. Hamburgers you do not get there. It is a matter of learning and adjusting and accepting and not being unnecessarily squeamish. Most Tanzanians would eat at these wee places. Perhaps it is like going to the Main in Montreal and eating steamées or Vancouver’s East side where I used to go to  ‘The Only Seafood Restaurant’  (it is no longer, alas) that had really excellent oyster stew that could not be beat.”

“The children are a delight.  Off they go to school in their uniforms.   Some try a shy ‘Hi’ and laugh at my ‘habari’.”

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4 Responses to Arusha – No Pens – No hamburgers

  1. Marian Reed says:

    Hi Tony, I really enjoyed this latest post from you. Your descriptions help me to feel as if I am exploring this new area also. Are whites or non-blacks not safe on the streets at night and that is why they are told not to go out at night? It sounds as if during the day, you feel perfectly free to travel around anywhere. I remember being in Barbados, a white woman on her own, and taking a bus there to go see the local doctor in the city, a ways from my resort residence, and being the only non-black on the bus, and in the waiting room also until one of the nurses asked me if I’d rather sit in another room with whites waiting. The doctor himself was nice, loved Mordecai Richler’s work! as he told me when he learned I was from Canada. You sound marvellously adaptable and open to new experiences and people as you encounter this new world.

    I went to a conference with Kim Seer in Florida, from Feb. 23 to 25, and found it wonderful, and have signed up for her Teacher Training class along with many others, including the 2 friends I’d roomed with in the hotel where it was held. There must have been about a hundred or more of us at the conference, from the USA and Canada. I told Ray about the course, and he was skeptical, as it costs money and involves belief in a Creator, etc. Maybe he will change his views one day.

    Irene had a fall on a mountain, on a Feb. 11 Adventurers Club hike. She fractured her right ankle badly, had to have surgery the next morning. Dr. Tatebe operated on her, at the Penticton Regional Hospital. He put in a plate and 8 pins, I believe, and is not planning to remove any of that hardware. His wife, Dr. Sandy Congram, was also at Kim’s conference, and said her husband was up for 3 nights in a row that W/E, until 12 mn each day. Irene’s sister, 84, flew from Montreal and is helping Irene, who can’t put any weight on the ankle for 8 weeks after the accident. Anyway, Irene very much supports my course with Kim. After my 1st W/E in a group with Kim, in Penticton at that time, Ray invited me to my birthday dinner, and remarked to Irene afterwards that he thought I was manic. Irene thought not.

    Anyway, I am searching for work to earn money, and have scheduled a talk at our local library in Westbank. My talk’s title is “What’s all the fuss about 2012?” In fact, Kim says we are in an unprecedented time in our history, where our world is moving from a vibration of fear to a vibration of love, with a lot of help from other dimensions, including the Divine Connection dimension. It is where all our gurus come from, and they never lost the connection with the Divine and Oneness. It includes Jesus, the angelic realm, etc. No wonder Ray shakes his head at my involvement. Other dimensions include Nature, Water, Air, Flying, the Warring Dimension, Beings who live in the inner part of earth, Earth itself, and the Peaceful Communicators, as well as 3 Overseer Dimensions where the beings make sure we’re having suitable experiences in whatever dimension we are inhabiting at the time(s). Hope this does not sound too far out for you. I totally trust Kim and what she says. As she repeatedly says, “I focus on being a clear channel”, and I can see her listening (her guide has an Irish accent) when I ask her a question. It’s like being in another world also, to study with her. She is a 3rd generation healer, lives in Michigan, and began by teaching others in her “Medical Intuitive” courses, and is now also focussing on her “Forever Fearless” and “Thriving in the New World” courses. Incidentally, while she was married and had children, her partner now is a woman named Cindy, who also helps her with record keeping, etc.

    Well, it’s time for me to go and eat breakfast, my stomach tells me. Hope I haven’t “talked your ears off”, figuratively speaking. By the way, I was impressed by your dreaming in Swahili! You are really into learning languages.

    Bye for now,

  2. loumdel says:

    Don’t dispare cher ami, you have gone from pencils to blogs in a very short period of time…enjoy the hunt for the best spot to hang your hat for your weekend coffee!

  3. bobparkhurst says:

    Hi Tony – What’s your “habari?”

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